It was about as good as you could draw up Pierre-Luc Dubois’ return to the line-up.
After missing four games, the 22-year-old notched two goals, including the game-winner, 27 seconds into overtime to propel the Jets over the Canucks 4-3.
Mark Scheifele picked up a goal and two assists, extending his point streak to 10 games.
Connor Hellebuyck made 31 saves on the way to collecting his eighth win of the season.
Dubois assisted on a Neil Pionk third-period powerplay goal to round out a three-point night.
“My game is still not where I want it to be. I know I can improve on a lot of things,” said Dubois, who logged 16:48 of ice-time in Sunday’s win.
The natural centreman played on the wing with Scheifele and Blake Wheeler on the Jets’ first line.
“It felt good to be out there. ‘Scheif’ and ‘Wheels’ made it easy for me at times, helped me out when I was making wrong reads, but it felt good to get back out there with them.”
Dubios was sidelined for four games with what he referred to as a lower-body muscle injury.
He practised with the team for the first time in a week on Saturday and wasn’t cleared to play by head coach Paul Maurice up until after Sunday’s morning skate.
“Obviously we won the game, but you have to think about what he’s been through,” Maurice said.
“Quarantine and all the things before the trade, then the injury and the pressure. He’s 22 years old and he’s feeling it, I’m sure, not in a negative way, but he knows it’s there. That was a big performance tonight.”
The game began with what some expected to be a given, as Derek Forbort dropped the mitts with Zack MacEwen.
Forbort was involved in a lengthy scrum with Canucks’ rookie Nils Hoglander at the end of Friday night’s game.
MacEwen fired a couple of hard rights as Forbort fell to one knee just as the linesmen arrived to separate the tangle.
Exactly 1:18 after the heated bout, Jordie Benn ripped a point shot off the backboards and the puck popped right out to Brandon Sutter, who shovelled it up and over a lunging Hellebuyck.
The Canucks peppered Hellebuyck with shots throughout the first 20 minutes, outshooting the Jets 19-7.
The onslaught of pressure proved to be costly for Winnipeg at the end of the period. Elias Pettersson lifted a Brock Boeser rebound over Hellebuyck’s glove to give the home team a two-goal lead heading into the first intermission.
It took almost 15 minutes for either team to find the scoresheet in a much more tame second period.
Dubois cashed in on a Wheeler one-time feed for his first goal as a Winnipeg Jet.
Dubois’ second goal of the season cut the Vancouver lead in half with 5:23 left on the clock.
The 40-minute buzzer sounded with the shot tally even at nine following a one-sided first period.
It didn’t take Winnipeg long to put their second-period momentum to good use with Scheifele trickling a wrister past Braeden Holtby.
The goal gave Scheifele 10 on the season and extends his current point streak to 10 games. That ties a career-high.
Prior to the period’s halfway mark, Brandon Sutter was sent to the penalty box for high-sticking.
Just under a minute into the power play, Pionk wound-up on a Dubois pass beating Holtby from the top of the right circle.
That was the only power play the Jets ended up capitalizing on, going 1-4 with the man advantage.
Vancouver would get a late chance on the power play due to Josh Morrissey firing an untouched puck out of play with 2:13 left in the game.
Holtby was called the bench giving Vancouver a 6-on-4. Elias Pettersson struck again, ripping a slapshot past Hellebuyck with just 36 seconds left.
For the first time since Feb. 1 against Calgary, the Jets were heading toward five minutes of extra time.
Exactly 27 seconds into the extra frame, Dubois muscled his way past by Boeser, cutting in past the right hash marks.
He wired home the game winner over the right shoulder of Holby, giving the Jets a 4-3 overtime victory.
Winnipeg improves to 11-6-1 with the win and they finish a four-game west coast road swing 3-1.
Winnipeg returns home to Bell MTS Place on Thursday to begin a four-game homestand against the Montreal Canadiens.
Puck drop goes at 7:00 p.m. with the pre-show on 680 CJOB beginning at 5 p.m.
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